This category is benefiting from not only the astounding rise in craft spirit production, but also the continuing trend for adult drink alternatives with low or no alcohol and low sugar content.
So following the artisan spirit producer who has meticulously and laboriously created something unique and exciting into the market are those that understand each of these spirits is potentially suited to equally specialised mixers.
Franklin & Sons actually have a pedigree selling their soft drinks dating back to Victorian London. They have a range of products that span both the issue of specialist mixers and a range of soft drinks available in the on trade.Their heritage has produced fine recipes in today's world with six of the drinks picking up Great Taste Awards in 2017.
The tonic and mixers range are based on pure Staffordshire water using the highest carbonation to lift and enhance the botanicals in any spirit.
They only use natural flavours, extracts and colours and you won't find any preservatives or sweeteners in the recipes, and they travel to Ecuadorian cinchona tree to take the bark which gives the bitterness of quinine. They are clearly putting extensive effort into trials of their mixers with many well known brands which is in itself a useful resource.
Sekforde Mixers are by comparison a newbie to the block. A business started by the passion of husband and wife team Tom and Talula, they recognised that they needed a mixer for their favourite tipple that unlocked the botanicals, and worked with them to bring out the best flavour possible.
A mixer for rum was quickly followed by gin and whisky, the latter being highly acclaimed by whisky distillers themselves.Their mixers are also low in sugar and each bottle will come in at under 40 calories.
Fever Tree needs no introduction and its success is well documented. Perhaps the first to really see the potential of specialised mixers, or at least a top quality one, before branching out to develop many lines to partner all types of spirits.
Their level of sophistication means that you can go on line, enter your spirit brand and it will tell you which line to partner it with. Its become rather like buying a coffee - a little help goes a long way!
They continue to innovate with various flavours, always remaining true to the quality of raw ingredients and they also have an eye on sugar reduction. Their world famous tonic is available in a light version at 58% fewer calories, no reason to hold back! Their range certainly stands up to mixing, but also to the designated driver or health orientated this festive season. Delicious!
Double Dutch are hot on the heels of this market with a recently updated range of mixers.Born again out of frustration, this company is the idea of twins Joyce and Raissa. Recognised by Richard Branson in their early days, they have gone on the create complimentary flavoured mixers to be enjoyed with a wide range of spirits. Each one is made without artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
Their approach has been inspired by molecular gastronomy - that fine balance of flavours hitting a sweet spot, alone or as a mixer. So whether you are at the cranberry end of the spectrum, or keen to dabble in spices and oakwood, newly arrived with Nectar, there's something to spike everyone's taste buds!
And now for something completely different. Not all mixers are clear and bubbly....Big Tom is a little gem that knows its way around a back bar.
Making a great Bloody Mary sounds easy, but sometimes frustratingly hard. This season, you may need a quick fix, a bit of a recovery drink, and no time to wonder about the recipe.
Big Tom is a powerful blend of spices, so all you need do is add a dash of vodka and you have a great drink.
Fentimans have been making their botanically brewed drinks for over 100 years and they have always produced top quality beverages.Clearly very proud of their still family owned company and their independence they have forged their way into this market with not only mixers but soft drinks, a beer, syrups and even a pre mix G & T!
They aim to work with ingredients and recipes which compliment not overpower spirits such as gin, and may even have some of the same ingredients. They source their botanicals from all over the world, Eastern Europe, China, Asia, Indonesia, with the focus on meticulous quality control standards.
Recently they have also entered the market with mixers in cans for the on trade, all stocked here at Nectar. Take a peek at their video on the making of their botanical mixers.
Have a look at all our mixers here!